Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thrive Where You Are Planted

Jesus once said that He was the vine and that His disciples where the branches. St. Paul later said that people would be grafted in.

That’s Christians today, disciples of Jesus that have been grafted in. Created by God and recreated when  saved from sin.

God saves us from our sins by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The fruits of Jesus’ salvation are given to us by grace. Along with this grace comes gifts. The Holy Spirit creates faith in us and also gives us talents and passions.

God then plants those who receive His salvation in specific places. He calls them to churches, communities, jobs, schools, etc. in order to reflect His glory and tell the Good News about Jesus.

When we use our gifts of the Holy Spirit we reflect the light of Christ to the world.

The world is a dark place. It is darkened by sin. Not necessarily specific sin but sin in general darkens this once bright and good world. Misery, despair, tragedy darken this world – from earthquakes in Haiti to mudslides in California to mass murder in Nigeria.

But disciples of Jesus Christ are called to reflect His light into this dark world. Food, water, medical and construction talents can be used in Haiti. Homes can be opened to people displaced in California. Hope, prayers, and justice can be brought to Nigeria – just to name a few examples of using the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

God has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. And God then gives us gifts and plants us in a specific place use those gifts.

We could use the gifts, talents, and passions for ourselves. But we wouldn’t enjoy a fulfilling purpose in our lives. We would be like Narcissus in Greek mythology – focused on ourselves to the point where we miss out on truly living.

Or we could use our gifts in service to someone else. There’s a song lyric that says “love isn’t love until you give it away.” That’s the idea of using our gifts, the idea of thriving where we are planted. It isn’t for our own needs but for the needs of others.

And we’ll find that if we live this way, our own needs will be met – in a more fulfilling and complete way than we could imagine!

Where you are is where God intended for you to be. Thrive there. Find strength and power through His Word and Sacraments. Reflect His light and love by using the gifts He’s given you.

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